According to Cruise Lines International Association, cruise passenger volume in 2023 is expected to reach 106 percent of 2019 levels, with 31.5 million passengers sailing. Clearly, in a post-pandemic travel world, cruising remains as popular as ever. Lines are responding, with next-generation ships being fabricated at shipyards and brands tapping into passenger demands to explore new destinations ashore and enjoy creative dining options and memorable activities. Read on for what to expect in 2024.
Sun Princess, Princess Cruises’ largest and most innovative ship, debuts in the Mediterranean in February 2024 before shifting to the Caribbean in the fall of that year. Highlights aboard the next-generation vessel include the three-story Horizons Dining Room, touting wake views, ample natural light and three completely different dining experiences. The Princess Arena has moveable seats; a capacity of more than 1,000 people; and an in-the-round configuration. The Wake View Terrace boasts an infinity pool, a South Beach-style resort deck, entertainment and a full bar, while activities at Park19 include climbing structures; a splash zone; and Sea Breeze Rollglider, the first hang-gliding experience at sea.
In 2024 the five-night Limitless Voyage, inspired by Jennifer Lopez, returns for its second year, this time to coincide with International Women’s Day. The themed sailing includes speaker panels with more than a dozen female entrepreneurs, healthy happy hours, special fitness classes, networking sessions and empowering shore excursions involving surfing lessons and jumping off waterfalls.
Windstar launches new cruises in 2024 in the Canary Islands on the 312-guest, all-suite Star Pride; the eight-day Captivating Canary Islands sails from Lisbon to Las Palmas, including Madeira, with overnight stays in Funchal and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The brand-new, 14-day Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas on Star Breeze goes beyond the expected Tahitian stops to access the Tuamotu Islands of Fakarava and Rangiroa as well as the Marquesas. This includes time in Omoa on Fatu Hiva, Atuona on Hiva Oa, and Taiohae on Nuku Hiva. The small-ship line’s first-ever itineraries in the Middle East begin just before the new year, and a new beverage menu curated for those sailings uses local ingredients like za’atar and arak.
On Jan. 15, 2024, Silversea’s Silver Shadow will embark on a 132-day Far East-West World Cruise with 65 destinations — including 40 new ones — and 23 overnight stays. Ports of call include Hawai‘i, Samoa, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, with deep dives in China, Japan, the Russian Far East and Alaska. In the summer of 2024 Silversea’s Silver Ray, the second Nova-class ship, debuts. Silver Ray will mirror its sister ship, Silver Nova, with an asymmetrical design and innovative use of glass in suites and public areas for uninterrupted views, while its high space-to-guest ratio ensures a roomy, luxurious experience.
Queen Anne, the 249th ship to fly the Cunard flag and the line’s first vessel in 12 years, launches in May 2024. Its 24 decks and 15 dining venues will accommodate up to 3,000 guests, and its design tapped into the Cunard archives in Liverpool to inspire the layout, fabrics and textures. Her maiden season takes passengers to European ports including the Canary Islands, British Isles, Norwegian fjords and Western Mediterranean. The line’s newly launched theme voyages include London Theatre at Sea in June, Literature Festival at Sea in November, and the Big Band Ball voyage in May celebrating the swing era.
After a decade’s hiatus, Celebrity Cruises returns to Egypt with 10 itineraries on Celebrity Infinity or Celebrity Silhouette. Departing from Athens, the trips take passengers to ancient ports in Egypt, Türkiye and Israel including Alexandria, Kuşadasi, Haifa and Ashdod. Other standout itineraries for 2024 include an 11-night journey through Japan on Celebrity Millennium, traveling to Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Mount Fuji, plus Jeju Island in South Korea. A 12-night cruise along the Spice Route, also on Celebrity Millennium, explores destinations like Mumbai’s Caves of Elephanta; spotting elephants and leopards at Yala National Park in Hambantota, Sri Lanka; and swimming in the Andaman Sea in Phuket.
With the resurgence in international tourism, AmaWaterways will launch its 2024 European season early, with special cruises on the Rhine and Danube rivers starting Feb. 11 — a time when airfares are lower and crowds are fewer. In response to the growing interest in wellness and active cruising, the line added onboard activities like yoga, Pilates, resistance band stretching, cardio and dance classes, all led by professionally trained Wellness Hosts. Also, a brand-new pickleball court on the deck of AmaMagna makes it the first river cruise line with a full-sized sports court. In 2024 themed cruises include wine tasting in the vineyards of Portugal, Germany or France, as well as delving into Black history in France or Egypt.
Look for these new ships to hit the water in the coming year:
Cunard Line’s Queen Anne
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Treasure
Explora Journeys’ Explora II
Royal Caribbean’s Utopia of the Seas and Icon of the Seas
Silversea Cruises’ Silver Ray
Viking Cruises’ Viking Vela
Virgin Voyages’ Brilliant Lady
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
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